Archive | May 2016

REVIEW: The Wicked Waffle by Carolyn Q. Hunter

51E-zY3z49L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_What do you do when your dreams of becoming a writer have dried up in the big city? You go back home and mingle with ghosts of the past and present of course!

Sonja Reed returns to her hometown of Haunted Falls Colorado after a failed attempt of becoming a published author and reunites with her best friends, Alison. One of the things Sonja looked forward to on the trip back, was heading to the diner Alison worked at and eating the amazing meals that she remembered her hometown for. New York food just wasn’t cutting it

Reality check for Sonja! The diner is all but closed up and she encounters a most frightening site that chills her to the bone. Alerting Alison to the issue, they discover a body of the most unlikable town lady, dead in the freezer. Welcome home Ms. Reed. Sheesh! No time like the present for Alison to give the diner to her. Congrats Sonja, you now have your own business formally inhabited by a dead lady that everyone hated. In addition, let’s stick the frozen food you need and that you’re going to serve in that exact freezer. Thinking of that still weird me out.

To add to the craziness that is seeing strange unexplained things and finding a dead body, Sonja’s estranged father comes back on the scene and is then swept away once again as the number one suspect of the frozen and very dead Ronda Smith, heiress of the Smith mansion and estate.

When no one seems fazed by Ms. Smith’s death, Sonja goes on a rampage to clear her father of the murder and pin it on someone else. Why; I don’t know. I would still be over-the-top upset and wondering if he came into town to do just that; commit murder. She jumps to his defense a little too quickly for my taste, but then again, no one asked me. Who could benefit from Ronda’s death though? Let’s start there.

Now that all of that’s over, Sonja shakes it off and prepares to get all the items back into the diner that were formally there. They so happen to be stored at the local church ran by Pastor Williams. Alison, her family, some local boys and Pastor Williams all pitch in to help. Nothing like a little normalcy and a blessing by the prieWafflesst to make all the crazy that happened go away. Oh no; wrong!

Sonja heads to the mansion to visit the stepdaughter, Belinda Smith, who she used to attend school with and who is a little off her rocker with talk of being able to see spirits. Great idea Sonja! Her visit turns into a séance and it just gets really freaky after that. I won’t say what happens, but I would read this part in a well-lit room.

Needless to say, there is a lot that goes on in a very short time span in The Wicked Waffle. From failing author to owner of a new waffle diner and a surprise ending that makes me want to know when book two will be out, Carolyn did a great joy catching my attention. I wished that there had been more time to develop the characters however. A little more background on the Reed family would have been welcomed. I like the character and I want to love her. I, however, fell for a secondary character instead. Belinda was the one who intrigued me the most. I want to go and hang out with her. She is my kind of fun!

Great first in series book and I wait with baited breathe for the next. This was a fun paracozy indeed.

Buy THE WICKED WAFFLE

by Carolyn Q. Hunter

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Better Homes and Corpses Review and Giveaway!

51XdW89NCRL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_So, you think your family is crazy? Well, nothing prepared me for the depth of drama that was occurring around designer Meg Barrett when she comes upon the gruesome murder of “The Queen Mother” of the Hamptons in her elaborate estate in “Better Homes and Corpses” by Kathleen Bridge.

13217339_10102657488878192_144797915453925788_oJillian, the daughter of the murdered Caroline Spenser, was former school mates with Meg and instantly hones on to her in a most overbearing way. Meg helps out Jillian as they try to work through her amnesia of the events and try to solve the murder of her mother while trying to inventory the estate.

Everyone seems to have their hands rubbing together over the death of the late lady of the house and looking to see what they acquire from her untimely demise. The characters were so enjoyable and I had no trouble keeping track of them and their goings on. Everyone had an agenda but all of them seemed guilty which made my game of trying to figure out who the killer was even more enjoyable as I made my way through the book.

We have the amnesia stricken Jillian, brother Cole that has shown up after being gone seventeen years, a man who was raised with the Spenser children, Adam and his foul mother, a quirky artist and his surfer son Van and a couple of wannabe art dealers to top it all off. Honestly, they all seemed off to me as nothing they said seemed genuine.

12931144_264927523839710_7223222836201763478_nOf course, it wouldn’t be fun unless the main character was swayed by romance, right? There are plenty of young men in this story to fill that. I won’t ruin who it is, but he’s a looker. There is also plenty of missing furniture, money, trinkets and such to continually change the reader’s mind on the guilty party. I already didn’t like some of the characters and sometimes their actions made me hope for their demise even more. What? They were mean and haughty!   Don’t blame me, Kathleen wrote them that way. And oh, what a great job she did.

An interesting element in this first in the series book that sets it apart is the talk of 13173731_278899555775840_3356369839666849691_nantiques, art and decorating. I adore all of those, so someone into that will love the snippets of name tossing that goes on throughout the book. I caught myself oohing and awing over several items mentioned as Meg and her friend, Elle worked on inventorying the Spenser estate and elsewhere.

The character development was amazing as well as the details of the areas surrounding the characters. I felt like I was following the designer in a modern day Jane Austen novel. Better Homes and Corpses was beautiful, brilliant and deadly to the very end.

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Now, it’s time for a giveaway! YOU can win a copy of “Better Homes and Corpses” on audio. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.  It’s open for a couple of days and you can come back and enter each day.  WooHoo!

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Spotlight: Rogues and Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction

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About Rogues and Rascals


Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

About The Author:
Amy MetzAmy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Amy’s Links:
Website: http://authoramymetz.com
Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Metz/e/B008NA07X4/

 R&R Goose Pimple book sleave

Fat Cat Takes The Cake; Interview and Review

Interview with Janet Cantrell

51Hzt44RE6L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_Booth Talks Books: Why “Fat Cat”?  Where did this idea come from for a series?

Janet Cantrell: The idea for the series came from my publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, as well as a few of the main characters’ names. The very beginnings of a plot were given to me, and I filled everything in, including the killer, the method, and all of the rest. This worked well for me since I’ve lived in the Minneapolis area (Minnetonka), and have also been owned by a cat as clever and almost as fat as Quincy.

BTB: I love the way you have Quincy laced throughout the book to help the
reader know something your main character doesn’t. Tell us a little about the development of Quincy as a character.

JC: I knew, when I started this series, that Quincy had to be based on a rescued feral cat we had a few years ago. He did develop diabetes, but died of a brain tumor. Before that happened, though, he kept us in stitches. Remember the old computer game, Elf Bowling? He loved it! He would sit in my lap as I bowled for him. Sometimes he let me take his
paw and push the space bar to bowl the ball. He lived for the end, when Santa popped up in the corner and he swiped at him when he said, “Ho ho ho.”

BTB: The friendships between the characters seem to be the main glue of the stories of the Fat Cat series.  Can you speak to the friendships and which ones you like the most or the ones that are the most meaningful to you.

JC: I was given the characters of Chase, her friend Julie, and Julie’s grandmother Anna. I was also given the situation of Chase and Anna being in business together. I am lucky that I had two terrific grandmothers (who are long gone and fondly remembered). I wanted the relationships to have some bumps, as all of them do, but for my readers to feel the love underlying them. I do find that, no matter what I’m writing, that I often put family relationships into my work, so I guess family is the most meaningful.

BTB: High School reunions…groan!  We all have the people we like and don’t like to see at those.  What was your inspiration for that scene in book three without giving too much away!  It seemed to be a very important part of the book.

JC: The idea of the reunion was mine. Given that my plot involved people from the pasts of Chase and Julie, I thought of high school, right away. Where better to bring up high school memories and traumas than a reunion? To get everything started off kilter, I made if a fourteen year reunion. Once I decided to put that in, everything clicked into
place to pivot around that night.

BTB: Let’s talk about the battle between the bakeries and now the added one of the Heath Bar.  Do you love writing these scenes between the feuding stores?  What has been your favorite so far? What was your inspiration for these characters and their issues with each other? They are a riot!

JC: I had a ball writing about Eddie Heath and his health food place. I wanted to throw up an obstacle for Chase and her developing relationship with the vet. It was fun to go to the exact opposite of a dessert bar shop, Chase’s Bar None, and to put in a character who
serves green liquid things with ingredients no one had ever heard of until a few years ago. I will say that I think I eat a pretty healthy diet (although maybe too much of it), but can’t bring myself to go overboard on the extremes of health food that I’ve encountered. Since
Chase is my main character, dessert bars have to rule here!

BTB: Janet, you are always fun to talk to. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions and talking about your amazing books and characters. So, to end this interview I have to ask….what’s next?

JC: I’ll say my own thanks and a “You’re welcome!” The continuation of this series hinges on sales of this book. I’ll also add that I have plans for three more if I get the contract. Thanks also to all my wonderful readers and Quincy’s fans. You’re a terrific bunch of
people.

 

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Review of Fat Cat Takes The Cake

What do you get when you mix a baking contest between two competing bakeries, a high school reunion and a realty scam? A dead body of course!

What a ride Janet Cantrell took me on along with Chase Oliver, Quincy the cat and crew as 12994571_269878210011308_2678747949942786874_nthey try to figure out who killed a classmate the night of the high school reunion and clear the name of one of their close friends in the process of not only murder but being involved in a realty scam to buy out the neighborhood. Honestly though, they are the perfect suspect. Janet sets several traps throughout the book, leading the reader in directions of several possible killers but in the end, I did not see THIS person being the murderer! I really thought I had this one figured out.

I liked that the high school reunion was the center point of the whole dramatic conflict. When is there not drama at a reunion of some sort? We have all of our players in one place and so many reasons why each person would want this person dead. Chase is a great amateur detective the way she goes about decoding the evidence. I enjoyed trying to decode it along with her. Again, Janet uses this as a way to confuse the reader and send them off looking for a different suspect than who is finally named in the end. Sneaky.

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I really liked the writing element of understanding what Quincy knows, giving us a bit more insight into the case than the characters. I would have liked to have seen this used more however. It’s clever. Quincy is just a regular cat and I love seeing the world from a perspective I am not used to. He just kind of stumbles upon some of the most important elements the characters could use to solve the case. More Quincy-Wincey please!

Great book, characters and recipe. I can’t wait to see the next installment!

 

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Visit Janet Cantrell’s Links!

Buy “Fat Cat Takes the Cake”: http://amzn.to/1T7R5HX

Amazon: Fat Cat Takes The Cake

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7855179.Janet_Cantrell

Website: http://janetcantrell01.wix.com/fat-cat-mysteries

Guest Post by Julie Mulhern

Julie Mulhern.photo credit Larry LevensonIn June, 2015, I went to Dallas. My publisher brought together some of its authors and we went to book clubs and a luncheon and a signing. The Deep End had been out four months and I was as green as new author can be—that is to say somewhere between chartreuse and apple.

Without exception, the authors I met were lovely people and spending time with the editorial staff from Henery Press was a delight.

On Friday evening, Gretchen Archer won a bottle of Kinky Liqueur. The contents were the color of strawberry sherbet. We went back to the hotel and drank wine. The bottle of blood orange infused vodka watched us.

Clouds coverSaturday was a full day. So full that it seemed only natural to unwind that evening with more wine. Someone picked up the bottle of Kinky. We passed it around. We speculated on what it might taste like. We did not open it. Someone—Phoebe Fox? me?—suggested we all put a character named Kinky Liqueur in our next books.

This suggestion was met with Kendall Jackson-fueled enthusiasm.

But a problem was quickly identified. My series was set in the 1970s, the others are contemporary. This road bump was swept aside. We’d all create our own Kinkys.

Which is how, Kenneth Keye LeCoeur, a character in Clouds came to be.

Cassie LeCoeur waved at me from across the lobby. Sometimes that happens. You don’t see someone for weeks on end and then you run into them in the oddest places. Poor Cassie. Being married to a man named Kinky LeCoeur must be a heavy cross to bear. Not that her husband’s real name is Kinky. He introduces himself as Kenneth. Probably when they met in college he introduced himself as Ken. But to those of us who have known him his whole life, he’ll always be Kinky. Mother says when one’s last name sounds as if it might belong to a professional dancer, one must be extra careful when selecting first names. The LeCoeurs obviously never heard her wax lyrical on this point…or maybe she waxes because of what Bob and Mary LeCoeur named their children—Kenneth Keye (show me a bunch of high school boys who won’t shorten that to Kinky) and his sister Candace, called Candy.

If you’d like to go searching for the other Kinkys, pick up Lowcountry Book Club by Susan Boyer or Heart Conditions by Phoebe Fox. And keep your eye out for a Kinky in Gretchen Archer’s sixth book (she makes no promises).

 

Happy hunting!

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Julie Mulhern’s Links

Webpage – www.juliemulhern.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern/?ref=hl

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern

Purchase on Amazon-Clouds In My Coffee

 

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Don’t miss Julie’s upcoming tour locations!

May 11 – A Chick Who Reads

May 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

May 13 – Community Bookstop

May 14 – Brooke Blogs

May 14 – Shelley’s Book Case

May 15 – deal sharing aunt

May 16 – Back Porchervations

May 17 – Musings and Ramblings

May 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

May 19 – The Girl with Book Lungs

May 20 – A Blue Million Books

May 21 – Queen of All She Reads

May 22- I Read What You Write

YOU READY FOR A GIVEAWAY?

Enter Julie’s Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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A Fatal Chapter comes to PAPERBACK!- Spotlight

Lorna Barrett PostcardsA Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett is available in paperback on May 3!  Yes, this is a big deal and we are super excited.  Hardcovers are fun, but there is nothing quite like a paperback.  So, you haven’t read it?  Great!  Here is your chance.  A Fatal Chapter  is the ninth book in the Booktown Mystery Series that takes place in New Hampshire. The reader once again gets to visit with Tricia Miles, owner of “Haven’t Got a Clue Mystery Bookstore” and her sister, Tricia Preston and precious cats, Miss Marple and Dainty Cat.

So, curious what it’s about?  Before you buy “A Fatal Chapter” (because you know you’re going to get it) here is what it’s about, straight from Ms. Barrett’s site, http://lornabarrett.com/ .

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Excerpt:

Suddenly, Sarge began to pull at the leash and bark. Tricia held her ground, lookingFatalChapter-med around for the squirrel the dog had no doubt seen but which she couldn’t locate. Sarge barked even louder and fought to pull her toward the gazebo.

“Oh, all right. You can have a look. But when there’s nothing there, you’re going to feel pretty foolish,” she admonished the dog.

But she’d been wrong. There was something in the center of the edifice.

Tricia halted, her heart skipping a beat when she saw the pair of rather worn leather loafers attached to a pair of legs. She hurried up the steps to see a man lying face down. Crouching beside him, she held out a hand and forced herself to touch him. The skin was still warm. She stared at his chest and noticed he was still breathing. She reached and grasped his wrist and found a weak pulse.

She let out a breath. Thank goodness this one was alive. She’d found more than her fair share of corpses during her tenure in Stoneham. Sarge had stopped barking and did what dogs do best—held a sniff-athon, his nose taking in as much of the fallen fellow as possible, considering how tightly Tricia held the leash. She thought she recognized the clothes and the hair, and scooted around the still form until she could see that it was indeed Pete Renquist. What on earth was he doing lying unconscious in the gazebo on such a lovely summer’s day? He didn’t seem to be bleeding. As far as she knew, he didn’t suffer from seizures, but he obviously needed medical attention. Tricia pulled her cell phone from her slacks pocket and punched in 911. Seconds later, a voice spoke in her ear.

“Hillsborough County 911. Please state your name and the nature of the emergency.”

“My name is Tricia Miles. I’d like to report an accident in Stoneham Square. A man’s been hurt.”

“Hurt how?” the dispatcher asked.

“I’m not really sure. He’s lying in the gazebo and he’s unconscious. He seems to be having trouble breathing. Heart attack maybe? His pulse is rather weak.”

“Do you know his name?”

“Peter Renquist. He lives here in Stoneham.”

“Do you know how to perform CPR?”

“I’ve never had to do it, but I think I could if necessary,” Tricia said, her fear escalating.

“The Stoneham Fire Department’s rescue squad has been dispatched—” Sure enough, Tricia could already hear the squad’s siren. “Please stay with the victim until they arrive.”

The word victim made her shudder. “Of course I will.”

She ended the call and spoke to the man beside her. “Pete? Can you hear me? It’s me, Tricia. Help is on the way. I’m sure everything will be all right. Just hang on.” She said the words with what she hoped was reassurance, crossing her fingers they’d be true.

Pete’s eyes shot open, startling Tricia. His arm jerked up and he grasped Tricia’s arm with what could only be described as a death grip.

His lips moved, and she bent down to listen, but couldn’t hear what he was trying to say. “I don’t understand,” she said.
She bent lower so that her ear was close to his mouth.

“I never missed my little boy,” he said, gasping. His eyes closed and the grasp on her arm slackened as he fell into unconsciousness.

The rescue squad pulled up to the sidewalk and the EMTs practically spilled from the vehicle. They paused to grab their gear before jogging to the gazebo.

Sarge’s barking went back into overdrive. “Hush!” Tricia said, but she didn’t have the same kind of control over the dog as her sister did. He strained at the leash and Tricia hurried down the steps to intercept the EMTs. She scooped up Sarge and his barking quieted; instead, he began to growl at the newcomers. “Hush!” Tricia told him again, still without results.

Tricia recognized one of the EMTs as Danny Sutton. “It’s Pete Renquist,” she told him. “I think he might have had a heart attack.”

He nodded. “We’ve got it,” he said and he and his partner hurried up the stone steps to attend to their patient.

“Tricia!” Russ Smith called, running across the grass toward her. He’d no doubt heard the call for the EMTs go out on his police scanner. He had his camera slung around his neck and held his ever-present steno pad and a pen in hand.

Tricia stepped away from the gazebo, walking fast to close the space between them. “It’s Pete. I found him.”

“He’s dead?” Russ asked, shocked.

“No!” Tricia asserted.

“Well, you’re not known for finding live bodies,” Russ said with irony.

Tricia glared at him. “It looks like he might have suffered a heart attack.”

Russ looked toward the gazebo. “Poor guy. Did he say anything to you?”

“Nothing that made sense.”

They turned their attention to the road where an ambulance pulled up at the curb and another set of EMTs were soon hurrying to join the firemen, hauling a gurney along with them.

Tricia and Russ edged away, yet remained close enough that they could hear the EMTs.

“He’s gone into cardiac arrest,” Danny said and began CPR.

“Oh, no,” Tricia said, feeling close to tears.

“Well, at least he started out alive,” Russ said.

“Hey, don’t count Pete out yet,” she grated, glaring at him.

Russ just shrugged.

They watched as the EMTs worked in a fluid motion to transfer Pete to the gurney and whisk him off to the ambulance. By then they noticed a bunch of rubberneckers that had gathered around the edges of the park and were watching the show. Poor Pete.

Less than a minute later, the ambulance took off with its siren wailing. Sarge began to wiggle in Tricia’s arms and she set him down on the ground. The firemen packed up their gear, stowed it in their squad, and left the scene.

With the show now over, the gawkers began to drift away.

“That’s it,” Russ said. He cocked his head and addressed Tricia. “What were you doing in the park, anyway?”

She brandished Sarge’s leash. “What do you think?”

He shrugged, looking back to the road, then at his watch. “Looks like Pete and I won’t met to talk about that article after all. I sure hope the poor guy makes it.”

Heavy-hearted, Tricia looked toward the road where the ambulance had receded from sight. “Yes, me, too.”

Buy “A Fatal Chapter” in PAPERBACK on Amazon by clicking the book below!

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Paperback Edition